Gritters out in force during cold snap

Gritting vehicles were out in force for the first time this winter as West Sussex County Council’s cold weather maintenance programme kicked into gear.

Balfour Beatty, the county council’s contractor, co-ordinates the highway winter activity programme in West Sussex and has a fleet of 21 lorries to deploy.

The gritters were put to use last night (Monday, November 5) as temperatures dropped, triggering the call-out procedure.

The county council has about 7,000 tonnes of salt in its depots across the county.

Throughout the winter the salt stock levels will be continuously assessed by Balfour Beatty, using an electronic monitoring system to order more stock when required.

The authority’s priority is to keep major routes treated and passable during severe weather.

These are generally all ‘A’ roads (except the A23 and A27 which are ooked after by the Highways Agency), most of the ‘B’ roads and other roads of local importance, such as major bus routes, roads to schools and hospitals and large industrial establishments.

Once again motorists can sign up to receive online updates about which roads have been gritted.

The ‘Gritter Twitter’ feed will provide updates on the weather, road conditions and gritting activity across the county.

People can sign up for the information on the social networking site Twitter by searching for @WSCCGritting.

People who are not signed up to Twitter can view the information by going to www.twitter.com/wsccgritting

Pieter Montyn, County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “The service is an excellent way for motorists to keep up to date with the latest situation on our roads.

“It will help them make informed decisions about driving during severe winter weather.”

People can find lots of useful advice about preparing for winter on the county council’s website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/getreadyforwinter